Keeping in Touch with the Times

Communicating with you—our alumni, our supporters, our friends—is one of our most important priorities. We want you to know what’s going on at Berkeley Engineering and we want to hear back from you. It is through your good works and your good will that the college stays strong and spreads word of its excellence in teaching, in research and in all its endeavors.

Our publications provide a great opportunity to stay in touch, but they are costly and increase our environmental footprint. Colleges are more and more exploiting the Internet to reach their constituents. Our students clearly embrace this trend, although their elders are responding more slowly: a 2008 Zogby survey reported that 55 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds trust the Web for most of their news and information, compared with only 35 percent of those 65 and older. A 2008 Forefront survey revealed that a whopping 55 percent of our readers prefer to receive the magazine in print, while only 13 percent prefer reading it online. When further refined by age, these numbers shift, but only slightly.

We have had to make some tough decisions in the past several months to trim our budget, suspending our popular student newsletter Engineering News and a handful of other print publications. We will continue to publish Forefront, so you will continue to see it in your mailboxes twice yearly, but with a reduced page count of 24. We believe this best serves our budget and our planet, while still allowing us to share the great stories behind Berkeley Engineering, especially with the 50 percent of alumni for whom we have no e-mail.

You will continue to see Innovations each month, and we plan to ramp up our Web offerings for students and all our audiences in the coming year. If you haven’t seen Berkeley Engineering’s pages on the most popular social networking sites, check them out at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. And please let us hear from you. If you no longer wish to receive Forefront in print, opt out today at https://forms.coe.berkeley.edu/opt-out-of-forefront-mailing/. If you know fellow alumni who do not receive Innovations but would like to, please send them a link to this Web site and encourage them to subscribe. I welcome your other ideas on how we can best communicate with you.

S. Shankar Sastry

Dean, College of Engineering
Roy W. Carlson Professor of EECS, BioE & ME
Director, Blum Center for Developing Economies
Email Dean Sastry